September 7, 2012
On a chilly Friday night at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium, the University of Minnesota women's soccer team watched their valiant effort to upset No. 20 San Diego State go down the drain as the Aztecs notched the lone goal of the match in the first minute of overtime.
Just one minute into overtime, San Diego State claimed possession and dribbled the ball down the right side of the field. A low Aztec cross through the box would pull redshirt Cat Parkhill out of goal to make a play on the threatening pass. Parkhill would slide in and attempt to scoop the ball, but it would take a hop off her hands and mosey towards the goal, where a gaggle of players stood. A flick fight ensued between the opposing players in front of the goal, but it was Megan Jurado who got the best touch on the ball as she knocked in SDSU's game-winning goal.
The score would be 1-of-5 shots on goal for the Aztecs as Minnesota generated seven chances. The Gophers also held a distinct shot advantage in the game, 18-12, with 11 coming in the first half.
In the first half, the Maroon & Gold had the wind at their backs and maintained possession in the scoring third for most of the 45 minutes. The squad would create a number of scoring opportunities but were unsuccessful in finding the back of the net.
The most memorable chance came in the 30th minute when Brianne Price rocketed a ball from the right corner of the 18-yard box. As it soared to the upper 90 of the far post, San Diego State goalkeeper Rachel Boaz tipped the ball away to miss guide it from going in goal.
Again the Gophers tested Boaz in the 41st minute when a ball squirted out of a crowd of players and landed at the feet of Taylor Uhl. The sophomore, who had an 11-match point streak on the line, drove home what seemed like to be the go-ahead goal, but the referees canceled the goal and called Uhl offsides.
So for the second-straight match, the Gophers entered the locker room tied 0-0. The Maroon & Gold had pressured SDSU the whole half by taking 11 shots with five being on frame. Coming into tonight's match the Aztecs had only faced a total of 21 shots in their five prior matches.
Minnesota would come out and have to play the second half into the wind, but the Maroon & Gold didn't seem fazed as they continued to bombard Boaz and the Aztecs with an array of shots.
It was a close call for San Diego State in the 50th minute of play as senior Allie Phillips would slip a ball by Boaz, but an Aztec defender was there to save the day by halting the ball just inches before the goal line. SDSU would kick the ball away and keep the score locked at nil-nil.
The rest of the match, senior Tamara Strahota seemed to be the catalyst in apply the offensive pressure as she had two great scoring chances that narrowly missed.
Strahota's first came in the 55th minute as she bent a 30-yard free kick around SDSU's wall of players, but Boaz would slap the defender's scoring effort away. Her second came in the 83rd minute as she crept up to the top of the 18-yard box with a one-on-one opportunity with the keeper. As the ball filtered back to her, she powerfully struck a ball to the left post, but it would continue to fade left and miss the frame by inches.
Strahota and Phillips led the team in shots with four and six while each had two strikes on goal.
The Golden Gophers look to put this tough loss behind them and refocus on their next match Sunday afternoon against DePaul. The Blue Demons also lost on Friday as they lost 2-0 to Iowa State in the first match of the night.
Gophers to Host North Dakota, Eastern Michigan
The No. 17 Golden Gophers will face North Dakota and Eastern Michigan this weekend.
Gophers Enter Rankings at No. 17
Gopher Soccer is now ranked No. 17 in the nation after a great first weekend.
Stiever Named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week
Senior midfielder tallied two goals and two assists during Minnesota soccer's opening weekend.